December 9, 2011
Boeing Case Is Over
I am very happy [no kidding!!] to announce that my office has approved the withdrawal of a charge by the Machinists union against the Boeing Co., which brings our case in this matter to an end.
The union asked to withdraw the charge following the ratification of a four-year collective bargaining agreement between its members and Boeing earlier this week. Based on that request, the administrative law judge presiding over the case dismissed the complaint and remanded the case to our regional office in Seattle for further processing. This morning, Regional Director Richard Ahearn approved the union’s written request to withdraw the charge, and the case is now closed. . . .
One of the stated goals of the National Labor Relations Act is to foster collective bargaining and productive labor-management relations. From the beginning of this case, and at every step in the process, we have encouraged the parties to find a mutually-acceptable resolution that protects the rights of workers under federal labor law. The parties’ collective bargaining agreement, ratified this week, does just that.
After we issued complaint in April, and as the trial began in June, the parties came to realize that their mutual success required a new approach. The result is a contract that helps guarantee their success and creates job security for workers. I am pleased that the collective bargaining process has succeeded and that the parties have begun a promising new chapter in their relationship.
It's nice to see the main club being used against the NLRB go away. The question is how much heat it'll take off. I suspect that the Board will be at two members for at least the next year, but we'll see fewer instances of hyperventilating politicians calling for it's demise.
December 7, 2011
NAA Releases Arbitration DVD
Barry Winograd & Dennis Nolan send word of this new new educational DVD available from the National Academy of Arbitrators. The DVD includes case presentations and arbitrator decisions in a dismissal case. The cost is $35; a flyer describes the fact pattern:
The DVD captures an instructive and entertaining session from the Academy’s annual meeting in San Diego in May 2011. The subject of the arbitration is the dismissal of a 20-year old soda delivery driver who finds $400 on his route, keeps the money for himself, but then turns it over when his supervisor asks about the missing money at the end of the day. The DVD includes direct and cross examination of a witness, and closing arguments, by skilled counsel. Decisions are then rendered by a panel of experienced arbitrators from the US and Canada, and by a system board of adjustment from the airline industry.
December 6, 2011
IG Investigating Attempts to Get Member Hayes To Resign
Another consequence of the aftermath of the NLRB's consideration of its election rules and the widely publicized attempts (or at least some of the attempts) to get Republican Member Hayes to resign: reports are that the NLRB's Inspector General is investigating those attempts. It sounds like that the IG has information that might show that Hayes was offered some sort of enticement (I'm guessing a job offer) if he resigned. Presumably, this may be considered an attempt to bribe a public official or some similar offense, although I don't know enough about this area to say for sure. Either way, the results of the investigation should prove to be interesting. Also, if the allegations are true, then I have to give a tip of the hat to Hayes for his handling of the controversy surrounding his possible resignation. Although I largely disagreed with his criticisms of the proposed rule, I commend him on his willingness to spare the Board the spectacle that would have resulted from his resignation.
Hat Tip: Patrick Kavanagh
December 5, 2011
Zelinsky: Pensions Are for Pensioners
Edward Zelinsky (Cardozo) posts over at OUP Blog about New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's apparent plan to use public pension funds to finance the replacement of the Tappan Zee Bridge and to underwrite other state infrastructure investments. Says Zelinsky:
This is a bad idea.... Using public pension monies in this fashion trades the immediate benefits of public construction for the long-term cost of underfunded public retirement plans.
If investment in the new Tappan Zee Bridge yields risk-adjusted, market rate returns, then private investors will step up to the plate and invest. Resorting to special financing arrangements with public pensions signals that a proposed investment does not pass the test of the marketplace. Market rate returns attract private capital. Such investments need not be subsidized with public pension monies.
Such projects flout the venerable fiduciary standards for pension investments, namely, prudence and diversification.